About

The Patterned Plate ProfileHi! My name is Caroline Smith. I am an Indian born, Abu Dhabi bred woman, married to The Scotsman with two kids, Lil Lassie and Lil Loon, who were both born in Aberdeen, Scotland. We all now currently live in Doha, Qatar. In our case, home is truly where you hang your hat!

Cooking started with my marriage. After putting myself into a state of total terror, this was the first thing I made. However, my then new husband’s genuine appreciation of my efforts sparked something and I have been cooking ever since. I can’t say it was all a success. I grew up eating curries, stir fried vegetables with spices, pickles and other such strong, earthy, pungent flavours and my lack of knowledge of ‘Western’ cooking produced some seriously bland meals. Worse was the fact that I didn’t know how to make those curries I was desperately yearning for. That came, when I moved to Aberdeen and with my mother in another country, I had no choice. Baking soon followed. The results over the years is what you see on this blog.

I admit, my blog is pretty much a mish mash of food from everywhere! It is truly how I cook and I find such a diverse repertoire inspiring, not to mention delicious. Plus, at the risk of sounding lofty, food isn’t just about the plateful. It’s everything that comes with it, stories, memories, ideas, hope and the people around the table.

Thanks for your company!

174 thoughts

  1. Hi Caroline,

    A friend of mine just nodded me in the direction of your wonderful blog. It’s gorgeous. I used to live in Doha for a couple f years so I feel your pain about missing the beautiful snow falls of the west. I do hope you have a fantastic time whilst you’re there and I look forward to reading up on your foodie adventures :)

    Carol-Anne

    1. Oh hullo Carol-Anne! Lovely of you to post! Pretty cool that you used to live in Doha too; when was that? I’m enjoying it enough so far and foodwise its pretty good, no? I do miss snow especially at Christmas time, although I could do without driving in it! It was the perfect ambience to what a proper Christmas should be like. But, there are much worse places to be than here, and it is after all what you make of it that counts. Hope you see you here more…

  2. Hi Carrie: Here I am in Niagara Falls in a hotel and I get the message from Audie you have a blog. Congratulations. This is wonderful.
    Proud of your good work. I just kind of remember of my website – Godfrey’s Kitchen on Geocities website, which is no more, with the collapse of Geocities.com but you can see bits of it on web somewhere.

    Keep up the good work and I hope to try some of your recipes in my kitchen. I will pass the message to Abigail soon.

    Regards to the family.

  3. Beautifully designed blog: the colors and pictures and layout. It’s refreshing to see a drawing on the header—the logo is really clever.

    1. Hello Carrie
      I just thought I would let you know that my blog has moved and is now bighungrygnomes.co.uk. Unfortunately, if you want to remain subscribed to my blog, you will have re-subscribe to this new address. I realise this is a little bit of a nuisance but I would really appreciate your continuing support and interest in my blog
      Thanks
      Fiona

  4. Hi Caroline, I just started blogging this month and am still finding my way around. I love aromas and tastes of the Orient. I am impressed with your set-up, photos, colors and especially your recipes. You are a very talented lady. I have not seen your entire site yet, based on what little I have seen so far, I will be delighted to visit you again. Fae.

  5. I love your blog. So much so, I have re typed this message a gazillion times, as I couldn’t seem to log in. I now operate from WP.org(forgot aboutwp.com) Uhg! All this technology. As I was saying, I love your blog, your recipes and your wit. I am a potter who also loves cooking. And as far as bowls … well I love making them as they represent the tangible essence of both giving and receiving. Looking forward to your future posts.

  6. new follower and glad to find your blog, as soon as I prepare any recipe from you I’ll be back with more comments!congrats for be included on the list of 7 Blogs. I reblogged the post to share!

  7. Hi Caroline, I have basically lived on your blog in the past 48 hours! I just want to pore over everything you’ve written. I was gushing to my husband about your blog all day yesterday; I think he might move to the back garden at this rate :-) Your blog has inspired me to overhaul mine; it’s dull compared to the vibrant look and contents of yours. Congrats on being listed in wordpress’ top 7 food blogs! They were spot on! I have my mango ice cream in the freezer as I type this….can’t wait to taste it…..it’s 5.34am…..lol….back to bed I go…..

    1. Oh my goodness! That’s like a marathon DVD TV series watching session! I can’t help chuckling here, simply because I am surprised by your enthusiasm for my verbal ramblings! Your husband, I do feel for him! I get like that with mine, and I can just see him glaze over after 20 minutes of my yabbering. ;)

      It was lovely to be featured and ‘meet’ new people on here, such as yourself.

      I do hope you like the ice-cream:-) Enjoy..and all the best with your blog, with your vibrant personality, it will be lovely. :-)

  8. Oh Caroline, I’m so glad I’ve come across your blog by way of the WordPress email I received last month. I’m Scottish, married to a Frenchman, living in Hong Kong so just getting used to the ex-pat life for a few months. You are a very well accomplished cook, photographer and blogger. I’m adding you to my Google Reader. Look forward to reading your posts.
    PS. Love how you say “wee” reminds me of home :-)

    1. Hello Jacqueline, foos yer doos quine?? ;-)) That was my husband’s first line to me, and of course, I thought he was speaking another language! Whereabouts are you from Scotland?

      Thankyou so much for you lovely comments, I am so pleased you like my ramblings!

      Hong Kong, eh? wow that will be different, but Ive heard it is such a vibrant place with fantastic shopping too! Being an expat wife can be interesting to say the least, but fantastic too. Hope you are able to settle in well and enjoy the time there.

  9. Wow! Wow! Wow! Your blog was the first I came across while becoming inspired to create my own. (And I love the header) You have a very tastefull and professional touch. Now following!

    Tutu~

  10. Love your blog! Am a true blue foodie, mummy to 3 picky eaters, author of a new children’s book and surgeon at the University Hospital in Malaysia. I also happen to be Malayalee and have roots in Kerala, India although my journey took me to London and Cambridge for almost 11years, before returning home. Do have a look at my blog http://threegreendreams.wordpress.com when you get a chance. Thanks, Roshni!

    1. Hi Roshni, your book looks amazing!! The illustrations are gorgeous. You are incredibly talented and a surgeon to boot. One does wonder where you get the time lol…Good luck with the book :-)

  11. Hi Caroline,
    I’m from Glasgow :-) Yes Hong Kong is definitely different but it has such a buzz about it so I am thoroughly enjoying the experience of being an ex-pat here. Temperatures at the moment are 35°C – back home in Glasgow it is currently 11°C. Great Scottish Summer – eh? I think I prefer the warmer climates oh, but I do miss the Scottish banter :-)

    1. I certainly don’t miss the horizontal rain, that’s for sure! However, the 45 deg C heat here, makes the cool breezes of a Scottish summer, very, very appealing! I have never been to Glasgow, which is a regret, though I had a few fabulous driving holidays around the west coast. Such a beautiful country. I know what you mean about the banter..nothing quite like it anywhere else :-) I miss it too.

  12. Hello Caroline, because I truly love reading your blog and checking out your inspiring and delicious pictures, I’ve nominated you for the Lovely Blog Award. I think you are a bit of a pro at this and I know you’ve won awards before but I couldn’t help but sharing the Patterned Plate love on my page too. Check out my blog for more information!

    1. Hello Carly, gosh, aren’t you lovely? Haha! You give me far more credit than needed. Congratulations on your nomination and thankyou for mine! I appreciate the fact that you enjoy this blog :-) Cheers!

  13. Hello,
    I just wanted to let you know how great I think your blog is. I hope someday my blog will be as visually appealing as yours. All your recipes sound delicious and your photos are great!

  14. What a fascinating life you lead…I’ve always wanted to visit Qatar! I hear amazing things about your airline as well…maybe one day.

    Also, I just have to say how much I love your header. It’s great to find your blog!

  15. HI Caroline,

    Took me such a long while to pop in a hi to a neighbour. I live in Bahrain and I have visited Doha many times ( stayed for a month or so once). I love the souq waqif and the skyline in Doha. Love the pics on your blog. Aweinspiring indeed.
    Cheers,
    Anita

  16. Your blog is awesome! I love all of the pictures and beautiful food that feed my feed (get it!?) Anyway, I wish to nominate you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Your mission (if you choose to accept it, by which I won’t be offended if you don’t) is to 1) display the award logo, 2) link back to the person giving the award, 3) state 7 things about you, 4) list 15 blogs that you wish to nominate, 5) notify these bloggers of the award and the rules. The person that nominated me is here: http://theleapingllama.net/ Again, lovely job on all the work you do!

  17. Hi! I’ve been following your site for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Caney Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!

  18. I clicked on your blog on a whim and the colors can’t help but make a reader grin ! Fabulous photographs and stories; I totally agree the food is more than the simple plate. Everything behind that plate has an importance, be it known or unknown. Here’s to many more colorful stories and splendid dishes to accompany them – or perhaps, the other way around ! Cheers ! ;)

  19. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts! Everything looks amazing, (props for the pictures too!). Keep up the good work *

  20. Love the look and feel of your site. Looking forward to see what you are doing in the future and exploring what you have already posted.

  21. Hi Caroline, what a gorgeous blog! Came across it since it was featured in the customizing the Imbalance 2 theme tutorial blog. Will be following :-)

  22. Your blog is astonishingly lovely, your food photography beautiful and enticing. Such a rarity in a food blog filled world. I envy you your cultural heritage and your Scottish husband! I’ve been fascinated by India my whole adult life, and I haven’t any idea why, really. I love the traditional dress most of all, and if I could get away with it here in backwards old Tennessee in the States with my very pale white skin and flaming red hair, I’d wear saris all the time! They are so elegant and beautiful! I love the architecture in India, the jewlry, all of it except, of course, the horrid poverty. I’d have problems where the class system exists, too, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

    And I’d want your husband for that wonderful Scottish accent! I could listen to it and to the music of the Highlands forever. Thanks so much for sharing your foods and a peek into your days with the rest of us from much, much duller places than India, Abu Dhabi, Scotland, and Doha, Qatar!

  23. Hi Caroline, Love your blog. Love the styling and photography, love the illustrations (remind me of the cookbooks my mother had in the seventies), love the variety. Looking forward to following you.

    Helena

  24. Hello,

    The Daily Post’s Food Photography for Bloggers Post led me to your gorgeous blog, and I’m so glad it did.
    I have recently forayed into the world of blogging myself, and if my pictures ever manage to come out as beautiful as yours do, I would consider myself luck :)

    Wish you all the very best.

  25. Wow! Your blog is truely beautiful, fresh and very inspiring for a new blogger like myself… I am happy to see that a woman and mother is behind all of this. Your blog looks like a professionnal cooking magazine!

  26. hello! first of all i want to say that your blog i beautiful.
    And secondly, i can’t wait to read your culinary posts!

  27. Hi Caroline. I like your site, I use the same theme. I wondered how you got all you posts in the centre rather than to the left like mine? Also, the social network buttons? How do I set that up? Your help would be so appreciated. Thank you!

  28. Oh my goodness! I’m so excited to have found your blog :) Your food looks colourful and vibrant and I can’t wait to try some recipes out. I’m new to blogging but already I’m in love with so many recipes I’ve found through wordpress xD

  29. WOW, a member in The Cookbook Junkies Facebook group shared your blog link. I am an Indian-Born, NY-bred, married to a German-American, with a Sassy Sidekick, living the expat life and moving every 1-2-3 years. I am blown away by your blog! And yes, home is where my kitchen is :D I also learned to cook after getting married, and most people don’t believe as I have become quite a competent cook :)

  30. Caroline: what a stellar blog and what a gorgeous catalogue of your chosen art form: food & family & gracious hospitality (& photography!). It’s hard not to feel gluttonous as I click through all your sumptuous posts!

    This is such a pleasure & inspiration to read–thank you for your splendidly top-notch writing & recipe curation. The way in which you infuse food with story is so beautiful.

  31. Hi Caroline!
    I absolutely love your ‘mish mash of food from everywhere’, your photography, recipes and I can not wait to explore your site further :)

  32. I am in love with your blog! As a Bangladeshi born, Canadian raised woman in a relationship with a French-Canadian man, I too am struggling to navigate Western cooking more into our shared life. It’s sometimes a struggle not to put in a dash of garam masala or ground cumin into everything! Looking forward to seeing more of your creations :)

  33. I am jumping for joy that I found your blog! I moved to a small town in Montana (US) several years ago, and since then I have not been able to find a decent curry anywhere (or…anything else that is not steak and potatoes, for that matter). Time to flex my culinary muscles and learn to make it myself- but I am not as familiar with the spices and flavors as I am with Western flavors. My experiments have been…interesting, to say the least. (One recipe involved ketchup. Eek.) Your blog is going to be so helpful- I’ve already bookmarked your recipes for mutton masala, chicken biryani, and a handful of others to try. Mmm. Thank you, thank you!

    1. Hi Kate, thank you so much for posting (sorry about the tardy reply)! Trust me, the whole curry thing is something I’m trying to get to grips with still! If you need some book recommendations, am happy to pass them along. The mutton masala will definitely give you the hands on basics of a curry. Judging by your blog, you’ll get there in no time!

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